Report: Witnesses say victim never provoked off-duty Asst. Police Chief accused of assault

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 1:46 PM CST
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An arrest report released on Wednesday provides additional information about an alleged assault involving an off-duty assistant police chief and provides information from witnesses that contradict statements he gave to officers.

Wayland Ray Rawls, 47, of Bryan was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault causing bodily injury.

According to a probable cause report filed by the Texas Rangers, Rawls was off-duty when he attended a school fundraising event on the evening of Saturday, February 8th in the 500 block of W. 26th Street.

Several witnesses told investigators Rawls first struck the victim with a closed fist multiple times in the face and body, and the man never struck back or attempted to fight back.

The victim suffered an abrasion to the top of his head, a black eye, redness, bruising to his left cheek, a broken finger, and bruising to the right side of his torso, according to the report.

Investigators say after the incident, Rawls claimed the other man first put up a hand and touched his face, which provoked Rawl's reaction.

However, multiple witnesses told Texas Rangers that isn't true. They say the victim "did nothing to initiate the physical altercation".

According to the probable cause report, witnesses said the victim never fought back and only put his hands up in defense of Rawl's repeated strikes.

Both men told Bryan police they wanted to press charges against the other. The Texas Rangers were immediately requested to investigate the incident because of Rawl's position in the city police department.

Rawls was released from the Brazos County Detention Center Wednesday on a bond of $4,000.

He's also on Paid Administrative Leave at the police department. He will continue to be on leave pending the outcome of the Bryan Police Department’s internal investigation.

KBTX has reached out to all the Bryan City Council Members for reaction to the arrest.

Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson sent us a statement saying, "I have confidence in both the Texas Rangers and BPD to conduct their investigations and will not comment about this while either investigation remains ongoing."

In his position, Rawls serves as commander of the Patrol Services Bureau at the police department, which includes patrol, support services, training and recruiting, the training academy, traffic unit, school resource unit and the mobile field force team.